Over the last several years, Social Venture Partners International has begun a process, through crafting a new narrative, and more recently our CEO search, to deepen our commitment to our mission of increasing the reach and connectivity of the SVP Network, and growing SVPI’s impact and membership in order to more fully realize the potential as a global network.
SVPI is at a pivotal moment in our history. Historically SVPI has largely functioned as the “invisible backbone” for the SVP Network. Today, SVPI is on a path to expand its focus from partner engagement and education to community-driven impact as a result of partner engagement, collaboration, and collective impact.
To do this well, SVPI must share a clear vision for the value and power of community engagement, grounded in equity and inclusion. SVPI must step up as an innovative leader ready to partner with affiliates, other funders, and organizations that share the core values of equity, connection, and accountability.
It is with this transformation in mind that Social Venture Partners International welcomed long-time progressive movement strategist and community builder Sudha Nandagopal as our new CEO. Sudha has worked across many sectors to provide strategic vision and lead change, including in government, non-profits, political campaigns, and philanthropy. In all her work—social movement leadership, communications, organizational development, facilitation, strategy, politics, and policy—she has focused on shifting power and centering the solutions from those most affected by issues of inequity and injustice.
Sudha is the right leader at the right time. As SVP’s discussions of global progress are increasingly driven by the need for a critical analysis of power, we selected Sudha as a leader who could inspire and galvanize SVP’s global network to address the root causes of issues facing communities worldwide.
— Sofia Michelakis, SVPI Board Chair
Sudha brings to SVP nearly two decades of experience in networks and systems-change, a vitally important perspective as the network seeks to more impactfully influence the philanthropic sector at large.
Sudha has a long history in organizational leadership having served on the board OneAmerica for over a decade, and having been a founding board member of OneAmerica Votes where she also served as Board President. She’s held leadership positions with several organizations who have strong affiliate/network relationships including Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Washington Conservation Voters. Most recently, Sudha co-created and led the first-of-its kind City of Seattle’s Equity & Environment Initiative, where she worked to ensure that those most affected by environmental challenges were at the center of decision-making. This work served as a model to city governments around the country who were seeking practical ways to center racial equity in their work.
SVP International also honors and recognizes that with this appointment, Sudha becomes the first woman of color to serve as the CEO in the network’s 20-year history, and arrives at a critical inflection point.
I deeply appreciate the SVP International board’s trust in me at this pivotal moment for the organization and this network. Networks play a critical role in catalyzing growth and change at both the local and global levels. Given the scale of the challenges our communities face, it is more important than ever to learn together and experiment with new approaches to democratize power and increase community leadership.”
— Sudha Nandagopal, SVPI CEO
As the SVP network increasingly explores issues of equity and inclusion and how traditional philanthropy has often overlooked—even exacerbated—those problems, Sudha brings significant professional and personal experience to ask the right questions of our work and co-create solutions.
“Our sector and the SVP network are coming to understand that addressing inequity must be part of our work, and Sudha offers deep experience in bringing new and marginalized voices and perspectives to the table, to bring light to and shift the existing power dynamic,” said Patricia Andrade, SVPI board member.
Under Sudha’s leadership SVP International hopes to challenge historical assumptions about philanthropic work, and support SVP affiliates to innovate, experiment and collaborate more broadly across the global network. Sudha will collaborate with SVP affiliates to bring renewed focus to one of the world’s largest engaged philanthropic networks.
As the CEO of a local SVP affiliate, I know the vitality of the SVP network is critical for our success. Here in Boulder County, we can serve our community most effectively when we are part of a vibrant, diverse, connected, nimble, and responsive network. Sudha is a collaborative and visionary leader who will guide our network to play a key role in large-scale change by elevating values of relationship, proximity, equity, and humility.
— Jennie Arbogash, CEO, SVP Boulder County
Over 40 chapters strong and in 8 countries, Social Venture Partners is now a global movement of over 3500 engaged donors, volunteers and skilled leaders who have invested in more than 900 individual nonprofits through $70 million (USD) in unrestricted grants.